F3 2020: Styrian Grand Prix – Friday

Frederik Vesti took a maiden F3 pole for Styrian GP Race One. (Image credit: Joe Portlock/Getty Images)

Less than a week after hitting the Red Bull Ring for the opening Austrian round, Formula Three were back at the same venue for Practice and Qualifying as part of Styrian GP weekend. 

On a day in which the series confirmed a ninth round at Mugello in mid-September, it would be a day in which Italian teams dominated as Trident and Prema battled for pole, whilst two red flags disrupted Qualifying. 

 

Practice

Ollie Caldwell led the field out for installation laps from which various drivers either pitted or opted for further warm up laps, until Sebastian Fernandez set the first benchmark time of 1m 22.184.

Times then rapidly tumbled as several drivers traded fastest laps with Prema’s Logan Sargeant merging fastest at the halfway point through practice, although the American led Oscar Piastri, Jake Hughes, Frederik Vesti and Alex Peroni by a gap of 0.185s. 

Hitech’s Max Fewtrell almost caused a stoppage after 17 minutes when he briefly came to a near halt with a technical issue, although the Brit eventually got moving whilst Piastri pitted with cockpit issues which were quickly resolved. 

Charouz however unleashed David Schumacher during the mid-session lull as he set  quick laps, culminating in a best time of 1m 20.823, prior to Caldwell causing a virtual safety car when he hit the DRS polystyrene and spread it across the start/finish straight. 

Marshals quickly cleared the debris to allow the virtual Safety car to be withdrawn with two minutes left, triggering a flurry of last-gasp flying laps.  

Lirim Zendeli eventually emerged fastest with a 1m 19.994 and 0.008s quicker than teammate, David Beckmann in a Trident one-two finish. 

Peroni, Vesti, Alex Smolyar, Sargeant, Piastri, Fernandez, Richard Verschoor and Sophia Florsch rounded out the top ten. 

Caldwell finished the session as the quickest Brit in eleventh position, ahead of Hughes, Doohan, Fewtrell, Novalak and Ahmed. 

 

Qualifying

Formula 3 Championship - Round 2:Spielberg - Practice & Qualifying
Vesti en route to a maiden pole position. (Image credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Trident trio of Lirim Zendeli, David Beckmann and Olli Caldwell didn’t hang about once the light went green, leading the field straight out for 30 minutes of qualifying as Zendeli set the first representative benchmark of a 1m 21.341 in seventh minute.

Piastri then rapidly beat that time with a 1m 21.321, only to be demoted by Campos’ Peroni who went fastest overall with a 1m 21.037.

Last weekend’s pole-sitter, Sebastian Fernandez however soon took the top spot with a 1m 20.816, only to bring out the red flag minutes later with a crash at Wurth Kurve which ended his Qualifying session prematurely.

Once the session resumed, Novalak was the only driver to go straight back out but pitted at the end of his flier, prior to the final runs which began when Theo Pourchaire led the field out onto the track with 11 minutes left. 

Out at the front, Prema showed their mettle as Logan Sargeant posted a 1m 20.570 which was briefly displaced by Vesti who went 0.023s quicker, only to see his time deleted for breaching track limits as Piastri slotted into third and 0.020s slower than Sargeant. 

Charouz’s Igor Fraga soon triggered a second red flag just a minute later when he pulled over, although a frantic finish resumed upon the restart as Vesti snatched pole from Beckmann at the death. 

Speaking post race, Vesti described his maiden F3 pole position as a “very proud” moment whilst adding; “I’m really happy to be on pole as it’s very important in this championship for the races.”

That pole position therefore could well be crucial for the young Danish racing driver with rain forecast for Race One at 9:25am BST tomorrow.

Further down the order, Caldwell qualified as the highest-placed Brit in eighth ahead of Fewtrell, Hughes, Doohan, Novalak and Ahmed lower down the order.

 

Results

FP1

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lirim Zendeli Trident 1m 19.994
2 David Beckmann  Trident +0.008
3 Alex Peroni Campos + 0.043
4 Frederik Vesti Prema + 0.212
5 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP + 0.262
6 Logan Sargeant Prema + 0.330
7 Oscar Piastri Prema + 0.518
8 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP + 0.550
9 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport + 0.555
10 Sophia Florsch Campos + 0.669
11 Olli Caldwell Trident + 0.700
12 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 0.768
13 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.789
14 David Schumacher Charouz + 0.829
15 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport + 0.861
16 Calan Williams Jenzer + 0.881
17 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab + 0.915
18 Igor Fraga Charouz + 0.926
19 Cameron Das Carlin + 1.002
20 Roman Stanek Charouz + 1.023
21 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab + 1.030
22 Frederico Malvestiti Jenzer + 1.048
23 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab + 1.053
24 Max Fewtrell Hitech GP + 1.107
25 Matteo Nannini Jenzer + 1.112
26 Clement Novalak Carlin + 1.179
27 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP + 1.220
28 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport + 1.235
29 Enaam Ahmed Carlin + 1.348
30 Alessio Deledda Campos + 1.775

 

Qualifying

Position Driver Team Time
1 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m 20.378
2 David Beckmann Trident + 0.123
3 Logan Sargeant Prema + 0.192
4 Oscar Piastri Prema + 0.212
5 Theo Pourchaire ART GP + 0.276
6 Lirim Zendeli Trident + 0.331
7 Alexander Peroni Campos + 0.356
8 Olli Caldwell Trident + 0.389
9 Sebastian Fernandez ART GP +0.438
10 Liam Lawson Hitech GP + 0.475
11 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport + 0.493
12 Aleksandr Smolyar ART GP + 0.557
13 Max Fewtrell Hitech + 0.582
14 Matteo Nannini Jenzer + 0.648
15 Lukas Dunner MP Motorsport + 0.737
16 Jake Hughes HWA Racelab + 0.744
17 Bent Viscaal MP Motorsport + 0.778
18 Roman Stanek Charouz + 0.791
19 Dennis Hauger Hitech GP + 0.846
20 Sophia Florsch Campos + 0.850
21 Enzo Fittipaldi HWA Racelab + 0.891
22 David Schumacher Charouz + 0.914
23 Jack Doohan HWA Racelab + 0.966
24 Igor Fraga Charouz + 1.037
25 Clement Novalak Carlin  + 1.058
26 Calan Williams Jenzer + 1.149
27 Enaam Ahmed Carlin + 1.166
28 Cameron Das Carlin + 1.169
29 Federico Malvestiti Jenzer + 1.228
30 Alessio Deledda  Campos + 1.848

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